Air India Plane Crashes, 158 Dead

A passenger plane from Dubai burst into fire as it was about to land at Mangalore airport in India, killing 158 of the 166 people on board. The Air India Express Boeing 737-800 aircraft caught fire and split in two after over shooting a runway and hitting a forest that surrounds the airport.

Eight people survived the plane crash, which is the first major one to be recorded in the country in over a decade. Air India Express, the low-cost division of Air India, said all of the 160 passengers were Indian nationals. The plane had six crewmembers.

Television reports show that the plane crashed around 6:30am local time. Investigators have yet to determine the cause of the crash, but aviation officials believe the aircraft may have skidded as the runway was wet from slight rain.

One of the eight survivors, Abdullah, said that he heard a “tire-burst kind of noise” before the plane caught fire. He was able to escape by jumping from the back of the burning plane.